UAA Strategic and Operating Framework
2022 – 2027
(Adopted by the UAA board and executive committee in October 2021)
Established in 2009, the USAID Alumni Association (UAA) harnesses the experience and expertise of former USAID employees to support effective U.S. foreign assistance and sustainable development; provides an independent voice on USAID’s development and humanitarian mission; and promotes social interaction among its members.
For the next planning period (2022-2027), the UAA Board decided to:
- Extend the strategic planning horizon from two to five years;
- Refine the strategic objectives considering the organization’s experience; and
- Separate the strategic framework from an annual implementation plan and results report.
This strategic framework sets the direction for UAA efforts while the annual implementation plan and report identifies the key annual activities to achieve the objectives; annual activities can be adapted and refined as conditions change. The strategic framework and annual implementation plan and report will be issued to the general membership and posted on the UAA website.
Strategic Framework Objectives for 2022 – 2027
The strategic framework provides a general guide for UAA actions over the 2022-2027 period; it reaffirms the long-standing, high level objectives that have been the hallmark of UAA since its beginning: building an inclusive community with regular social interaction among former USAID staff and promoting a greater understanding of international development inside and outside UAA. Beyond these UAA remains 1) committed to the long-standing objective of supporting and strengthening USAID and 2) accountable to its members. This framework deviates from past strategic plans in its explicit commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across UAA and its activities. The framework also recognizes the UAA-USAID MOU (Signed-MOU-with-USAID.pdf (usaidalumni.org)), signed in 2020, as a management, organizational, and reporting structure for activities that strengthen USAID.
The UAA board and executive committee met in October 2021 and reaffirmed four strategic objectives for the 2022-2027 strategic framework:
Objective 1: Building an Inclusive Community of Former USAID Staff
UAA supplies a wide range of professional and social meeting opportunities for current and potential members, including hybrid seasonal social events and discussions of current topics of interest. The website and monthly newsletter keep current and potential members aware of UAA activities, events, and issues under discussion as well as the passing of former colleagues in an “In Memoriam” section.
Objective 2: Supporting USAID Professional Development and Institutional Capacity
UAA’s founders committed themselves to USAID’s development goals and wanted to share their career experiences to help support USAID. This objective grew from this interest and focusses on strengthening the capacity of staff and organizational units as well as providing an independent advisory voice.
Objective 3: Increasing Understanding of and Support for International Development
UAA seeks to increase knowledge within our Association, in USAID, and among the American public about international development and humanitarian assistance, thereby expanding and deepening awareness of their importance in U.S. foreign policy, increasing the understanding of USAID’s indispensable role, and helping USAID attract a diverse and highly qualified workforce.
Objective 4: Organizing and Sustaining UAA’s Structure and Operations
This objective provides the organizational structure and integrity to reach the ends defined in Objectives 1, 2 and 3. Objective 4 has three principal components: (1) organizational structure; (2) policies and procedures; and (3) communication with members. This objective supports UAA transparency and member oversight.
- Implementing Activities
Common Approaches: Committees implement activities to achieve the strategic objectives while the annual budget, implementation plan, and results report provide membership with financial and programmatic accountability. Members can find policies, plans, meeting notes, and reports posted on the website.
Following UAA practice, each strategic objective relies on one or more associated committees to identify and implement activities. The framework supplies flexibility to add or subtract committees as needed.
- Current committees include public outreach, membership services, strengthening USAID, development issues, annual general meeting, USAID history, and finance and administration.
- Where proper, the annual plan/report will name committee activities that align with MOU programs (leadership and mentoring; strategy, program, and activity support; public outreach and communications; and operations, administration, and staff).
The annual implementation plan will outline upcoming activities, including any adjustments, while the results part will present outcomes and accomplishments. This report will also describe progress in meeting cross-cutting DEI objectives and provide an update on the status of implementation of the MOU with USAID.
Budget details link UAA resources and uses; posting the budget to the website ensures financial transparency and accountability.
- The board sets procedures for UAA’s essential recurring organizational tasks, notably preparing and implementing the annual budget. Procedures require that the Board approve the budget annually; those expenditures not exceed budgeted amounts; and committees and the Treasurer maintain and report actual expenditures. All proceedings are reported in the executive committee minutes (see an example of proceeding notes at EXCOM-MINUTES-MEETING-OF-SEPTEMBER-9-2021-FINAL-1.pdf (usaidalumni.org)).
Timeline: UAA activities continue throughout the year, with key actions occurring at specific times. Actions related to the strategic framework and implementation plan and report include:
- Framework: The board will reassess the framework every five years. However, as it reviews and approves the annual budget and upcoming activities, the board will reaffirm the strategic objectives, keeping the responsibility to modify those objectives should conditions change significantly.
- Budget: The board reviews and approves the budget in January and considers budget adjustments in July. Budget discussions appear in the executive committee notes.
Implementation plan and report: Committees will report noteworthy results from the past year and propose activities (with budget needs) for the upcoming year activities in the last quarter of the calendar year. The board will approve these plans and budget in Janu
 Currently, the Strategic Framework is updated every two years; with the change, the Framework can be modified through the annual performance plan to accommodate significant change, but biennial updating will not be required.